Dundee City Council has revealed plans to keep “vulnerable and challenging” high school pupils in mainstream education rather than sending them to specialist services.
The local authority’s education committee will be told on Monday of plans to merge the council’s three offsite learning centres into one.
The services at Castlepark, Connect 5 and Balerno support children who have become disengaged from mainstream education.
Castlepark is for children in the first two years of high school while Connect 5 and Balerno offer support to those in third, fourth and fifth years.
Now the council is proposing to close these centres and create a new service based in the former Rockwell Primary building.
This would provide support to pupils with a range of social, emotional and behavioural difficulties.
However, it would focus on children in third and fourth years.
For children in first and second year, the council will shift its emphasis to keeping them in their own schools.
Education convener Stewart Hunter said: “At this stage, the committee is being asked to approve consultation on a proposal that would bring real benefits for the young people who are supported by these services.
“We are keen to talk to people like staff, pupils, families and trade unions to hear their views.
“I am keen that we can also discuss the reasons why we are proposing change.
“I see this as giving new chances for children, to put them more at the centre of the process and to vastly improve the facilities for those who would need to receive education out of a mainstream school.
“Our offsite education service staff are highly skilled and committed and we want to ensure that any changes will build on their dedicated work.
“I think it is important that we can help S1 and S2 pupils by making sure that they can stay in their community school, where staff already help and assist young people facing real difficulties in their lives.”
Mr Hunter added: “Through the work we are carrying out to close the attainment gap in Dundee, we want to ensure that all pupils at our schools have the chance to make the most of opportunities that will benefit them when they leave school.
“I believe a new approach to this service is an indication of an inclusive outlook and an ambition that all of your pupils should be able to succeed.”
A detailed proposal will be considered by the education committee at its meeting on Monday.
If the committee agrees, a formal consultation will run between Monday November 30 and Friday January 29.
A public meeting to discuss the changes would be arranged for December.